Federal reserve land handover to Sabah, Sarawak being finalised

LABUAN: The process of handing over the federal government’s reserve land in Sabah and Sarawak to the two states is now being finalised, said the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah, Sarawak Affairs and Special Functions), Datuk Armizan Mohd Ali.

He said that the process is in accordance with the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

The process of finalising the handing over of federal reserve land (which has been identified as undeveloped for a long time in Sabah and Sarawak) is now in the final stage. In the event that the Sabah and Sarawak governments want to take the land, it is allowed, with certain guidelines.

“It has been discussed by the MA63 Implementation Action Council (MTPMA63), and the office of the director-general of Lands and Mines will finalise the guidelines,” he told reporters, after a briefing on the development of the Federal Territory of Labuan Native Court’s restructuring today.

Armizan said that, after the process of handing over the federal reserve land to Sabah and Sarawak, the two states will become the absolute owners of the land.

“There is a positive development in the efforts to restore the privileges of Sabah and Sarawak, as enshrined in MA63, through a platform created by the government, and no longer only through a political platform,” he said.

“We are grateful that a special platform was officially created – the Devolution of Authority Committee (JKDA) – in 2016, to discuss issues arising related to MA63.

“Then it was added to the special Cabinet committee in 2018, appointed as the Special Council on MA63 in 2020, and further empowered in 2022 under the Unity Government as the MA63 Implementation Action Council, and this allows for the record of official discussions which can be used as a reference for the next course of action,” he said.

Armizan said that the decision of the federal government and the Ministry of Finance, to hand over the authority to approve development projects worth up to RM50 million to the Sabah and Sarawak governments, was one of the long-standing demands, approved by the federal government, in line with the MA63 agreement. – Bernama